Recommended for You – A True Story

A few weeks ago I tweeted, with great indignation, about Play Store’s list of recommended books for me. Yes dear friends,  I am still harping on about this and I feel the need to explain myself in more than 140 characters.

Kindle (and even good old fashioned paper) works very well for me, so I was quite indifferent when I saw that Play Store was now selling books.  By the way, for  iOS and Windows users, Play Store is not what you’re thinking – it is the app world for Android users.

So anyway, one evening I decided to browse through Play Store,  added a few books to my wishlist, which included authors such as Brent Weeks, Orhan Pamuk, TanTwan Eng and Khaled Hosseini and then, since it is usually quite helpful on other sites, I thought I’d take a look at what Google Play Store would recommend I read … and there it was … in all its gushy glory … the trashy romance novel! And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there was 101 Best Jokes! as well as – dare I say it – (cover your innocent eyes if you under 18) – 50 Sex Tips for Him and Her.

Those dirty rotten scoundrels!

Since it is the  Google Play store, one would assume that they would link one’s Google searches to what they recommend one reads. Right? So, one would assume I typed into the search bar ‘I am 16 years old, mindless, loveless and hopelessly naive’, so they recommended the romance novels.

Another thought is that I might have Googled  ‘how to impress a date’, so they threw into the mix the 101 jokes and sex tips books.

Needless to say, I never did those Google searches. Ever.

Ok, so I may have once (or twice) asked Google to pleeeeeeeeeeeeease find me a picture of (a shirtless) Daryl Dixon and that’s why they gave me The Walking Dead.  No, not really  – well, yes I did really Google (a shirtless) Daryl Dixon – but I am a true TWD fan, so there they did good.

Well,  that shocking experience got me updating my Goodreads profile, Amazon and Audible wishlists – no more slacking there – and clearing my cookies (Daryl Dixon search be gone) and, since I ordered a Mark Lawrence book from Play Store, I see  that, while the list of recommendations still includes far too many love and lust reads, they are now only visible from line 5 together with Baby Food Made Easy (I know! I’m as speechless as you are), A Tale about Tails and The Tiny Fork Diet (LMAO!).

On a serious note, Google Play Store is great and just because I choose not to read romance novels doesn’t really mean I think that there is anything wrong with them and I mean no disrespect to anyone who reads the odd Mills & Boon every now and then.  I think that as long as people are reading something – anything – that’s great – then at least there’s less time for them to watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo!

Yes, I did put the little block over the word Sex on this image - don't ask me why - I just did.
Yes, I did put the little block over the word Sex on this image – don’t ask me why – I just did.

9 thoughts on “Recommended for You – A True Story

  1. It is a bit creepy how “they” are watching every word we type so “they” can use our preferences to make sales to us. Privacy is a long lost dream it seems.

    Keep the posts coming, Jacquie. I missed you here on your break, though I started a new job last spring and haven’t been as active on WP as I adjust to my new,busier schedule. Btw, it’s 15 below at the moment here in southern Wisconsin, with wind chills at 30-50 below, so you can be glad you’re not here (or in Chicago) at the moment. 🙂

    1. It really is creepy – I just wish that, if they really must do it, then they’ll use the information they gather to assess me more accurately. Anyway, what I wrote was more for fun – I certainly don’t need to rely on them to tell me what to read.
      I hope you are enjoying your new job and that all is well and that you are keeping nice and warm in that awful cold. I have been reading that it is the coldest winter you guys have had in many years.

  2. An interesting discussion. Just yesterday I was reading about Facebook facing an anti-privacy suit and being charged with collating personal data and preferences from private mails.

    As I think of this , I wonder if there can be that perfect rose in real life without the thorns.


    1. Hey Shakti. Honestly, and I know some people will go mad when they hear me say this, I don’t really have strong feelings if they use my data for advertising / promotional purposes, as long as they get it right. I am always a bit terrified at the thought of what more sinister things people can get up to with my personal information though.
      Thanks so much for dropping by.

  3. My wife & I are TWD fans. Can’t wait for the next season. That last finale? Crazy thrilling that has us hanging. Zombiereffic! Great post. Happy New Year full of everything exciting to you and your family.

  4. Though I’m in IPhone / Apple Store land — the Play Store likely works the same as Netflix, a DVD/streaming video service in the US. As you rate books with stars, it will learn your tastes and preferences and start giving you more relevant suggestions. Once I gave “1 – Hated It” stars to a bunch of crappy loud action movies, though I never watched them, that genre doesn’t appear on my Netflix reccomendation home page any more.

I'd really love hear what you think

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